By 90Min
October 24, 2018

It's been a seamless transition back into the domestic swing of things, with a weekend goal glut firmly putting the Nations League-filled international break in our rear view mirrors.

Speaking of seamless transitions, what better place to start the dissection of the week's action than at the Emirates Stadium with a rejuvenated Arsenal. With effortless ease and graceful elegance from back to front, it was a return to the good old days on Monday night as the Gunners blitzed Leicester with a masterful second half performance.

Inspired by a captain's performance from Mesut Ozil (yes, you read that right), Unai Emery's side fought back from the blow of Hector Bellerin's first half own goal to claim their 10th win in a row in all competitions - devastating the Foxes with their attacking, free flowing passing game.

The 'Perfect 10' is all the more impressive given their tentative start to the season. Defeats against Manchester City and Chelsea were not unexpected by any means, as they merely served us a reminder that Arsenal are not the Premier League force they once were. But this resurgence suggests things are moving in the right direction under Emery, and if Monday night's atmosphere in north London is anything to go by, it seems like genuine hope and expectation is returning to a fanbase who have been treated to a string of disappointing performances over the past few years.

It's important that expectations are tempered during this period of form though. Everton are the highest calibre opposition the Gunners have come up against in this recent run of games, and the Toffees haven't won in north London for 22 years now. This is not an attempt to detract from Arsenal's achievements this season, it's merely a keeping things in perspective exercise - significantly sterner tests await, and it's likely that we'll see an entirely different side to their game (given the fact that Arsenal's defence still looks exceptionally vulnerable) when they deal with the attacking threat of Liverpool on November 3.

Elsewhere, it was business as usual for title chasing Manchester City as they cruised to victory over Burnley at the Etihad - and I mean cruised. The Clarets were poor but the manner in which City swept past them with consummate ease again reminds us that they are indeed the team to beat in this season's title race. Effortless in possession, clinical in front of goal and able to dictate the tempo as they pleased - it really was another routine day at the office for Pep Guardiola's side.

The cherry on top of his cake? The return of the masterful Kevin de Bruyne in midfield as a second half substitute. 

Manchester City v Burnley FC - Premier League

The Belgian's influence, energy and creativity has been sorely missed in recent weeks, and although City have shown no signs of stumbling, it's clear that his presence has a positive effect on their offensive mindset. De Bruyne will unquestionably be keen to make up for lost time, and his return to action could be the catalyst for a real spurt of form for City - just what Guardiola will want ahead of some tricky fixtures against Tottenham and Manchester United in the next few weeks.

You can't help but feel the best is yet to come from City, and with their experience of how to get the job done, it would come as little surprise if we see an unrelenting winning streak commence shortly.

Further north, their main title rivals (or so it seems at least) Liverpool were also in action, though they were steady if unspectacular in their hard fought 1-0 win over a dogged Huddersfield at the John Smith's Stadium. Mohamed Salah's goal separated the two sides, but Jurgen Klopp has subsequently admitted that his team are lacking their usual cutting edge at the moment - and that things are feeling distinctly 'average' at present. And he's right. The dynamism showed by his side for the majority of last season seems to be lacking, and although positive results are still coming, the pressure and weight of expectation will continue to build on his defence unless things improve.

That will be a concern for the German manager going forward, but for now, he has bigger fish to fry on the European stage - as he prepares his charges to face Red Star Belgrade in a must win Champions League encounter at Anfield.

The Terriers meanwhile will feel they deserved a share of the spoils after Jonathan Hogg struck the woodwork, but it's back to the drawing board for David Wagner and his men - who remain winless after nine games of the season. Joining them in the woes of relegation trouble are a dreadfully out of sorts Newcastle side, who yet again slid to defeat at St James' Park, and a Fulham side who have developed a penchant for haemorrhaging goals.

Slavisa Jokanovic appears to be living on borrowed time as a result, and the two game deadline imposed upon the Serb to turn results around may signal the end of what you'd have thought just a few months ago was a pretty impressive reign. Harsh perhaps on a man whose style of play tore Championship opposition to shreds last season - but football at the highest level requires a certain level of adaptation, and it's clear that Fulham's boss is not learning his lessons quickly enough (25 Premier League goals conceded says it all).

Athena Pictures/GettyImages

His loss at the weekend was Cardiff's gain however - and boy did Neil Warnock need that result. His side have looked out of their depth so far this season, and with tough trips to Merseyside to face both Liverpool and Everton upcoming, it was vital that they got points on the board. It's a tired old cliche but home form really will determine their fate this season - and even then, that may not be enough to save them.


The season remains young however, and with plenty of twists and turns still to come, all this conjecture and hypothesis may prove to be complete drivel. Onto next weekend then eh?

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